DAVIE, Fla. -- In a culture that fosters conflict, Jonathan Martin sought to avoid it. Upset by treatment he considered abusive, the Miami Dolphins tackle let the situation fester for months before leaving the team last week. Martins agent then complained to the Dolphins, who suspended guard Richie Incognito. The NFL is investigating whether Incognito harassed or bullied Martin, and whether their teammates and the organization mishandled the matter. Some say Martin, a Stanford graduate who went about his business quietly, handled the situation well. But pro football is a macho world, and some players believe Martin should have responded more firmly. "Is Incognito wrong? Absolutely. Hes 100 per cent wrong," New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle said. "No individual should have to go through that, especially in their workplace. "But at the same time, Jonathan Martin is a 6-4, 320-pound man. I mean, at some point and time you need to stand your ground as an individual. Am I saying go attack, go fight him? No. I think we all understand we can stand our ground without anything being physical." Dolphins players have robustly defended Incognito, long considered among the NFLs dirtiest players. Hes now a notorious national villain, but teammates praise his leadership and loyalty. Theyve been less passionate in their support of Martin, saying he and Incognito behaved like best friends. "They did a lot of stuff together," tackle Tyson Clabo said. "So if he had a problem with the way he was treating him, he had a funny way of showing it." Martin is with his family in California to undergo counselling for emotional issues. A senior partner in a New York law firm was appointed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to investigate possible misconduct and prepare a report. DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said Thursday that he continues to be in touch with those involved. "The NFLPA has taken steps to ensure that every one of our affected members is represented," Smith said in a statement. "It is our duty as a union to learn the full facts, protect the interests of players involved and hold management accountable to the highest standards of fairness and transparency." The alleged bullying saga engulfing the Dolphins has shed a light on how damaging perceptions can be in the violent world of the NFL. A Pittsburgh native, Martin is the son of Harvard graduates and his great grandfather also graduated from the school in 1924. At Stanford he protected Andrew Lucks blind side, and also majored in the classics. Taken in the second round of the 2012 draft, Martin has what it takes physically to be an NFL player -- size, skill, athleticism, intelligence. He won praise from the Dolphins for his diligent study of game and practice video. But while has been a starter since the first game of his rookie season, Martin developed a reputation in the NFL for lacking toughness. That impression might have been reinforced by the way he handled his issues with Incognito, current and former teammates acknowledge. "A lot of people might look at Jonathan Martin and think that hes soft because he stepped away from the game, and say, Why dont you just fight him?" said Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, who played with Martin at Stanford. "Well, if you look at it with common sense and being logical, what options did Jonathan Martin have? "He could fight Richie Incognito. He could go and tell on the players, which we know in the football locker room doesnt go over too well. Or he could remove himself from the situation and let the proper channels take care of itself. And I think he made the intelligent, smart choice without putting himself or Richie Incognitos physical abilities in danger." Houston Texans Antonio Smith, who has accused Incognito of dirty play since they went against each other in college, said Martin should have responded more forcefully. Smith drew a three-game suspension this year for taking Incognitos helmet and hitting him during an exhibition game. "I dont think that in my opinion a grown man should get bullied," Smith said. "And I think that if youre realistically getting bullied, theres only one way my mom taught me and my dad taught me how to get rid of bullies. They used to always say, You hit a bully in the mouth. It will stop him from bullying, no matter what you hit him with." Incognitos harassment of Martin included text messages that were racist and threatening, two people familiar with the situation have told The Associated Press. Incognito is white, while Martin is biracial. Two other people familiar with the situation have said Martin talked of quitting football earlier in his pro career before leaving the Dolphins. One person said Martin considered giving up the sport because of the way he was being treated by other offensive linemen on the team. The person added that Martin now wants to continue his football career. The Dolphins (4-4) play for the first time since the scandal broke Monday night at Tampa Bay (0-8). At least 75 reporters and cameramen tracking the case were in the locker room after Thursdays practice, but receiver Brian Hartline said the scrutiny wont prevent the team from playing well. "It almost heightens your awareness," he said. "You know its going to take away from your focus, so it does the exact opposite. You overcompensate to make sure you stay aware of the game." Best Fake Jordan 1 .Y. - The New York Yankees made it official Saturday, announcing the completion of a seven-year deal with free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and a one-year contract for returning starter Hiroki Kuroda. Jordan 1 Banned Replica . 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One of the best aspects of my job, maybe the best, is the experiences; the interactions with people you never forget. Whether it is meeting Tom Hanks briefly (class act) or the genuine enthusiasm and interaction of Riders and Ticats fans, I am confident I can speak for all that covered the game in saying you made us feel much more important and appreciated than we deserve. I sincerely hope the moment the new stadium is ready to roll the “Big Game" goes back to Regina with no hesitation. Overall this off-season has been a good and productive one. With new stadiums in Ottawa and Hamilton, future stadiums in Regina and Toronto, the most important aspects of the game – in-stadium fan experience and attendance – are progressing, not regressing. Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton is taking shape. The season ticket base is just about maxed out and the luxury boxes are all sold. I have yet to visit the stadium in Ottawa but I have a high level of confidence in the people running the Redblacks and what they are doing to make this organization viable. Its very important to have a CFL team in Ottawa for one big reason: it is our nations capital and will continue to enhance pride and patriotism in ourselves and our country. With Toronto, at the risk of sounding like a cheerleader, BMO Field would be perfect. I have walked around the stadium three or four times and the sight lines, angles, and proximity to the field are exceptional. Its basically on the same location as the old Exhibition Stadium and that location is excellent; not as congested as the Rogers Centre location and probably not as expensive. I dont dislike the Rogers Centre, at one time it was one of the most unique structures in North America, but BMO fits what is needed: more intimacy and less immensity. Trust me when I say this, its perfect! In on-field related issues, I like the challenge system as it relates to pass interference; the NFL will watch closely how it is executed and learn. But I also have concerns with flow of the game. Too many stops and starts in football make the game boring; I hate to say that but it is the truth. This is a pretty bold, precedent-setting move by the league. May I suggest one more? Eliminate the huddle from football with the exception of the beginning of a drive. Football players are pretty bright, they can run ann entire offence without talking about it in detail after each play.dddddddddddd Between TV timeouts, injuries, and challenges, the game is too long, especially NCAA football, which now runs anywhere from 3.5 hours to four. That is too much. How do you create a rule to keep the game flowing? Easy. Once a play is over, the offence must go back to the original position they began the play from, then the quarterback directs the play and players. Time constraints stay the same and every player that needs an ear piece can use one to offset the noise. The quarterback becomes a true quarterback, not an order taker. Realistic? I believe so. The entertainment value of the game would explode as there would be constant focus from the fans due to constant motion and action. It may be a difficult sell but as a viewer, anytime a team goes no huddle I regain and intensify my interest. Again the league could set a new standard of entertainment for the benefit of the paying public. They are, after all the most important revenue generators. Speaking of revenue, the Players Association wants a new, bigger and better deal. As a former player, I want the present players to earn more. CFL players are the most underpaid athletes in a combat sport I know. The league is not at a point where an increase can be so significant that it satisfies the desires of all. It is still a lean business that has developed stability, but not prosperity. There will be an increase for players, the amount is unknown. May I suggest this though, as a life lesson learned? It is not so much how much you make as it is how much you have and what you do with it. With an increase in revenue, the best thing the league and Players Association can do is get it out of the hands of the players to control spontaneous purchases. We have all heard the mind-numbing stories of athletes that make a lot yet have very little. And the truth is they have no one to blame but themselves. Hard pill to swallow. There will be more money, but making the money truly work so you can satisfy both your desires for security and adventure in life is critical. There is nothing more important in the CFL than the quality of the play and the player. And there should be nothing more important to that player than when his playing days are over he has physical, financial evidence he played. I dont know about you, but this was the most brutal winter I have encountered in a long time. I heard it was the coldest in Manitoba in 100 years. I am looking forward to watching a game without seeing my breath. Fall will come soon enough, but spring football sounds good to me! ' ' '